Monday, May 10, 2010

When a Holiday's on You

I learned my lesson a day late and a dollar short.

This is hard to get my head around, but I might have holidays backwards: I think things should go perfect for me because it's my day.

We went to the zoo and had a lovely time. It was sunny but cool. The lilacs were beautiful, the safari animals were frisky.

My son wanted to leave. I wanted to see one more thing that was right next to the exhibit I was at. He said "If you do that, I'm leaving." I said "No, it's right here and we'll leave right after, so come on." And I popped in for a few minutes and then he was nowhere to be found.

Security was right there and I asked them if they'd seen him, a 5'10 thirteen year-old with glasses in a grey and red hoodie. They said he was probably close and I should sit on the bench right there and they would call on the radios. I didn't want to cross the bridge over to the other side if he was just hiding, and would momentarily pop out and ask for ice cream, so I waited until they got back to me and said they didn't see him. Then I crossed over and found him all the way at the other entrance, fuming.

I guess I screwed up. It made more sense when he was 4 and I knew I could only do 3 things with the kids and one of them had to be eating. Then they would give out and the whining would begin. They just can't go for hours. I don't get it, but I know it. When he's done, he's done, and 5 minutes 10 yards away is not the relevant factor. I should've sat down for a second and negotiated. Not, basically, it's "My day, it's my way, don't you dare take off across the highway."

So anyway. This is kind of a moebius thought but I need to turn it inside out... We are not celebrating Me, as thee Mother. Kneel down to the Queen of the family and pay your respects.

I can't throw away actually being a good mother so I can act like a two year-old.

I ruin my own holidays. Ouch.

The point is for me to take some time and reflect and feel my gratitude for the tremendous gift I have already been given.



ChefNick said...

I totally understand his attitude because I STILL DO IT TODAY.

If someone else is in charge of a situation (ie. drove me to a party, whatever) and I get tired of it but they don't, they say, c'mon, half an hour more, or "I just want to see one more thing," I lose it.

The person who is in complete control of the situation (ie. you, as the driver and the mother) should immediately see that complying with the helpless party's wish not to continue whatever activity should be INVIOLABLE, and any attempt to prolong the helpless one's discomfort is merely an egregious violation of the helpless one's right NOT to feel discomfort.

If my son ever said to me, no matter what I was doing, even at his age, "Daddy, I don't want to do this any more," If I had any choice in the matter (ie. not being on a plane) I would drop everything and cancel everything unless it were absolutely necessary, to relieve his discomfort.

If I know we'll be going into a situation in which he might be uncomfortable, I warn him carefully: "Tai-chan, we're going to have to stand in line and wait to give them our passports. It might take a long time, and Daddy doesn't want to be there as much as you don't want to be there. So you have to be good, okay?"

But it's easy to lecture and I haven't always practiced what I preach, either . . .

But you have to be careful . . . at his age, he might just decide to do something a little more radical than walk to the other side of the park -- like try to take the bus home.

:) He's a good kid.

Qaro said...

Yep, it's true. I make mistakes. But I learn! : )

Qaro said...

Actually, I think that was my whole point. That I am not usually like that and I don't get to be like that just because it's a holiday. : )

ChefNick said...

I remember being in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris with my (then) French girlfriend a couple of years back. I'd just flown in from Montreal the day before and was hungover and exhausted.

Although I loved the museum, she decided she wanted to see ALL of it -- every exhibit on every floor. My feet were killing me and I pleaded for her to pack it in, that I was trashed and just wanted to sit down somewhere and have a beer.

Did she listen? No. And I had literally nowhere to go. I couldn't go home. I couldn't go anywhere. I HAD to do what she wanted.

That's a very helpless feeling . . . I finally rebelled and sat on a bench and said "I'm not budging from this bench." Did she commiserate and say, okay, well, let's go have a beer somewhere? No. She went on to finish ALL the rest of the exhibits by herself.

Oh, did I mention it was my 50th birthday that day?

Qaro said...

That was so inconsiderate of her. I'm sorry your 50th birthday was ruined.

ChefNick said...

Nah, it was a definite learning experience. It showed me what kind of a person she really was. And in spite of all that, how many people get to jet off to Paris for their 50th? So it wasn't all bad.